Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

Full text of "John Lennon Interview 1972 Hit Parader Magazine"

See other formats


The American magazine Hit Parader prints an extended interview with John 
in which he discusses who wrote what parts of which songs from the 
Lennon-McCartney catalogue. 

LENNON-McCARTNEY Songalog: Who Wrote What 

Lennon-McCartney. 

It's common knowledge that Paul wrote some alone and John wrote some 
alone. The royalties may be shared but sometimes not the worklode (sic) on 
a particular piece. 

To find out how much was written by who... and even who wrote what, we 
sat John Lennon down and went over the whole list of Lennon-McCartney 
material, that rich vein that changed the face of rock music overnight, going 
back to the first days of the Merseyliverpool Sound, up through Beatlemania 
to Sgt. Pepper and the break up. 

Paul McCartney saw the list and came up with one correction. He says 
that John didn't write the music to "In My Life" just the words. Paul worked 
out the melody on a mellotron in John's house. 

LOVE ME DO: Paul wrote the main structure of this when he was about 16, 
or even earlier. I think I had something to do with the middle. 
PS I LOVE YOU: Paul. But I think we helped him a bit. It was meant to be 
a Shirelles kind of song. 

PLEASE PLEASE ME: I wrote all of this one — I was trying to do a Roy 
Orbison. 

FROM ME TO YOU: Paul and me — we wrote this together in a van. 
THANKYOU GIRL: Paul and me. This was just a silly song we knocked 
off. 

SHE LOVES YOU: Both of us. We wrote it together on tour. 
MISERY: Both of us. This was mainly mine though, I think. 
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?: Me. I wrote this for George. 
I CALL YOUR NAME: Me. I started it when I was about 15 and finished 
the middle eight years later, around "Help" or "Hard Day's Night" time. 
I'LL BE ON MY WAY: Paul. This was early Paul. 
BAD TO ME: Me. I wrote it for Billy J. Kramer. 

IT WON'T BE LONG: Me. I wrote this on the second album. It was the 
song with the so-called Aeolian cadences, the same as in the Mahler 
symphony, at the end. I don't know what the hell it is about. 
ALL MY LOVING: Paul. This was one of his first biggies. 
LITTLE CHILD: Both of us. This was a knock-off between Paul and me for 



Ringo. 

HOLD ME TIGHT: Both of us, but mainly Paul. 

I WANNA BE YOUR MAN: Both of us but mainly Paul... I helped him 

finish it. 

I'LL KEEP YOU SATISFIED: Paul. This was for Billy J. Kramer. 

LOVE OF THE LOVED: Paul. One of his very early songs, but I think he 

changed the words later for Cilia [Black]. 

I'M IN LOVE: Me. I wrote it for the Fourmost. 

CAN'T BUY ME LOVE: John and Paul, but mainly Paul. 

FROM A WINDOW: Paul... must be Paul's. I can't really remember it. 

LIKE DREAMERS DO: A very early one of Paul's. 

AND I LOVE HER: Both of us. The first half was Paul's and the middle 

eight is mine. 

I'LL BE BACK: Me. A nice tune though the middle is a bit tatty. 

WORLD WITHOUT LOVE: Paul. An early one he wrote when he was 

about 16 or 17. 1 think he changed the words later for the record by Peter 

and Garfunkel or something. 

ONE AND ONE IS TWO: Paul. That was a terrible one. 

I FEEL FINE: Me. This was the first time feedback was used on a record. 

It's right at the beginning. 

SHE'S A WOMAN: Paul. Though I helped with the middle, I think. 

NO REPLY: Me. I remember Dick James coming to me after we did this one 

and saying, You're getting much better now — that was a complete story." 

Apparently before that he thought my songs tended to sort of, wander off. 

I'LL FOLLOW THE SUN: Paul. A nice one — one of his early compositions. 

EIGHT DAYS A WEEK: Both of us. I think we wrote this when we were 

trying to write the title song for "Help" because there was at one time the 

thought of calling the film "Eight Arms To Hold You" or something. I 

THINK that's the story, I'm not sure. 

IT'S ONLY LOVE: Me, That's the one song I really hate of mine. Terrible 

lyric. 

YESTERDAY: Paul. Wow, that was a good 'un. 

DAY TRIPPER: Me. But I think Paul helped with the verse. 

WE CAN WORK IT OUT: Paul but the middle was mine. 

NORWEGIAN WOOD: Me but Paul helped me on the lyric. 

MICHELLE: Both of us. I wrote the middle with him. 

WHAT GOES ON: Me. A very early song of mine. Ringo and Paul wrote a 

new middle eight together when we recorded it. 

IN MY LIFE: ME. I think I was trying to write about Penny Lane when I 



wrote it. It was about places I remembered. A nice song. Jose Feliciano did a 

nice version of it. 

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE: Me. Another one I never liked. 

PAPERBACK WRITER: Paul. I think I might have helped with some of the 

lyrics. Yes, I did. But it was mainly Paul's tune. 

ELEANOR RIGBY Both of us. I wrote a good lot of the lyrics, about 70 

percent. Ray Charles did a great version of this. Fantastic. 

HERE THERE AND EVERYWHERE: Paul. This was a great one of his. 

YELLOW SUBMARINE: Both of us. Paul wrote the catchy chorus. I 

helped with the blunderbuss bit. 

SHE SAID, SHE SAID: I wrote it after meeting Peter Fonda who said he 

knew what it was like to be dead. 

GOOD DAY SUNSHINE: Paul. But I think maybe I helped him with some 

of the lyric. 

FOR NO ONE: Paul. Another of his I really liked. 

AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING: Me. Another horror. 

DR. ROBERT: Me. I think Paul helped with the middle. 

GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE: Paul. I think George and helped with 

some of the lyric, I'm not sure. 

TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS: Me. This was my first psychedelic song. 

PENNY LANE: Paul. I helped him with the lyric. 

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: Paul. It was Paul's idea. I think I 

helped with some of the words. In fact, I did. Hunter Davie (sic) was there 

when we did it and mentioned it in the book [the authorized biography The 

Beatles, published in 1968]. "What do you see when you turn out the light, I 

can't tell you but I know it's mine." That was mine. 

LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS: Me. And once again, folks, this 

was Julian's title. It was nothing to do with LSD. I think Paul helped with 

the last verse. 

GETTING BETTER: Paul. I think I helped with some of the words in the 

middle. 

SHE'S LEAVING HOME: Both of us. Paul had the basic theme. But all of 

those lines like "We sacrificed most of our life... We gave her everything 

money could buy.. .Never a thought for ourselves. ..Those were the things 

(Aunt) Mimi used to say. It was easy to write. 

BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE: Me. I got some of the words 

off an old circus poster. I have it in the billiard room. The story that Henry 

the Horse meant heroin was rubbish. 

WHEN I'M SIXTY FOUR: Paul. I think I hepled Paul with some of the 



words, like "Vera, Chuck and Dave" and "Doing teh garden, digging the 

weeds." 

GOOD MORNING, GOOD MORNING: Me. A bit of a gobbledegook one, 

but nice words. 

DAY IN THE LIFE: Both of us. I wrote the bit up to "woke up fell out of 

bed" and I think Paul wrote "I'd love to turn you on." I got the idea from a 

news item in the British Daily Mail about 4000 holes in Blackburn. 

BABY YOU'RE A RICH MAN: Both of us. In fact we just stuck two songs 

together for this one — same as "A Day In The Life." 

I'M THE WALRUS: Me - I like that one. That was the time when I was 

putting Hare Krishna and all that down. I hadn't taken it up then. 

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR: Paul. I helped with some of the lyric. 

HEY JUDE: Paul. That's his best song. It started off as a song about my son 

Julian because Paul was going to see him. Then he turned it into "Hey 

Jude." I always thought it was about me and Yoko but he said it was about 

him and his. 

REVOLUTION: Me. I should never have put that in about Chairman Mao. I 

was just finishing off in the studio when I did that. 

BACK IN THE USSR: Paul. Maybe I helped a bit, but I, don't think so. 

HAPPINESS IS A WARM GUN: Me. That's another one I like. They all said 

it was about drugs but it was more about rock and roll than drugs. It's sort of 

a history of rock and roll. The title came from an American gun magazine. I 

don't know why people said it was about the needle in heroin. I've only seen 

somebody do something with a needle once and I don't like to see it at all. 

ROCKY RACOON: Paul. I might have helped with some of the words, I'm 

not sure. 

WHY DON'T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD: Paul -- one of his best. 

JULIA: Me. Yoko helped me with this one. 

BIRTHDAY: Both of us. We wrote it in the studio. 

EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMETHING TO HIDE: Me. Fats Domino did a 

great version of this one. 

SEXIE SADIE: Me. That was about the Maharishi. 

BECAUSE: Me. This is a terrible arrangement. A bit like Beethoven's Fifth 

backwards. 

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: Me. One of my best songs. Not one of the best 

recordings but I like the lyrics. 

A list of songs, according to Lennon, written by himself, about which he 
had no comment. 
There's A Place; This Boy; All I've Got To Do; Not A Second Time; You 



Can't Do That; A Hard Day's Night; I Should Have Known Better; If I Fell; 
I'm Happy Just To Dance With You; Tell Me Why; Any Time At All; I'll Cry 
Instead; When I Get Home; I'm A Loser; I Don't Want To Spoil The Party; 
Ticket To Ride; Yes It Is; Help; You've Got To Hide Yourself Away; You're 
Going To Lose That Girl; Nowhere Man; Girl; Rain; I'm Only Sleeping; 
Strawberry Fields; Dear Prudence; Glass Onion; Bungalow Bill; I'm So 
Tired; Yer Blues; Cry Baby Cry; Goodnight; Ballad Of John And Yoko; 
Come Together; I Want You (She's So Heavy); Mean Mr. Mustard; 
Polythene Man (sic); One After 909; Hey Bulldog; Don't Let Me Down; You 
Know My Name; Sun King; Dig A Pony; Dig It. 

Songs which Lennon attributed directly to Paul McCartney, again offered 
with no comment. 

I Saw Her Standing There; Tip Of My Tongue; I'll Keep You Satisfied; 
Nobody I Know; Things We Said Today; Don't Want To See You Again; I'm 
Down; The Night Before; Another Girl; Tell Me What You See; I've Just 
Seen A Face; That Means A Lot; You Won't See Me; I'm Looking Through 
You; Woman; Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Fixing A Hole; 
Lovely Rita; Hello Goodbye; Your Mother Should Know; Fool On The Hill; 
Step Inside Love; Oo Bla Di (sic); Martha My Dear; Blackbird; I Will; 
Mother Nature's Son; Helter Skelter; Honey Pie; Lady Madonna; All 
Together Now; Get Back; Let It Be; Maxwell's Silver Hammer; Oh Darling; 
You Never Give Me Your Money; She Came In Through The Bathroom 
Window; Golden Slumbers; Carry That Weight; The End; Her Majesty; Two 
Of Us; The Long And Winding Road. 

Songs attributed jointly to McCartney and himself by Lennon and offered 
again with no comment. 

I'll Get You; I Want To Hold Your Hand; Baby's In Black; Every Little 
Thing; What You're Doing; Drive My Car; The Word; I've Got A Feeling. 



\J